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Missouri
Anti-Cruelty Statutes

MISSOURI STATUTES
TITLE XXXVIII. CRIMES AND PUNISHMENT;
PEACE OFFICERS AND PUBLIC DEFENDERS
CHAPTER 578. MISCELLANEOUS OFFENSES

§ 578.009. Animal neglect and abandonment--penalties

1. A person is guilty of animal neglect when he has custody or ownership or both of an animal and fails to provide adequate care or adequate control, which results in substantial harm to the animal.

2. A person is guilty of abandonment when he has knowingly abandoned an animal in any place without making provisions for its adequate care.

3. Animal neglect and abandonment is a class C misdemeanor upon first conviction and for each offense, punishable by imprisonment or a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars, or both, and a class B misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment or a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars, or both upon the second and all subsequent convictions. All fines and penalties for a first conviction of animal neglect or abandonment may be waived by the court provided that the person found guilty of animal neglect or abandonment shows that adequate, permanent remedies for the neglect or abandonment have been made. Reasonable costs incurred for the care and maintenance of neglected or abandoned animals may not be waived. This section shall not apply to the provisions of section 578.007.

4. In addition to any other penalty imposed by this section, the court may order a person found guilty of animal neglect or abandonment to pay all reasonable costs and expenses necessary for: 0

  • (1) The care and maintenance of neglected or abandoned animals within the person's custody or ownership;
  • (2) The disposal of any dead or diseased animals within the person's custody or ownership;
  • (3) The reduction of resulting organic debris affecting the immediate area of the neglect or abandonment; and
  • (4) The avoidance or minimization of any public health risks created by the neglect or abandonment of the animals.


§ 578.012. Animal abuse--penalties


1. A person is guilty of animal abuse when a person:

  • (1) Intentionally or purposely kills an animal in any manner not allowed by or expressly exempted from the provisions of sections 578.005 to 578.023 and 273.030, RSMo;
  • (2) Purposely or intentionally causes injury or suffering to an animal; or
  • (3) Having ownership or custody of an animal knowingly fails to provide adequate care or adequate control.

2. Animal abuse is a class A misdemeanor, unless the defendant has previously plead guilty to or has been found guilty of animal abuse or the suffering involved in subdivision (2) of subsection 1 of this section is the result of torture or mutilation, or both, consciously inflicted while the animal was alive, in which case it is a class D felony.

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